The field of peripheral vascular disease management is evolving. As such, vascular surgeons can no longer be complacent and expect to be included in the rapidly expanding practice of endovascular intervention. If not engaged, vascular surgeons risk losing not only the patients who have largely driven this evolution but also their role as leaders in the management of vascular disease. Therefore vascular surgeons and vascular surgical training programs find themselves in an awkward and sometimes confrontational circumstance attempting to gain experience and training in catheter-based procedures. Individual societies, both surgical and nonsurgical, have put forth competence standards for catheter-based procedures. However these standards are not always consistent and the definition of competence is often a heated debate. In addition, combining the acquisition of endovascular skills with the multitude of available endovascular training experiences, didactic and "hands-on," is not well coordinated. The objectives of this review are to summarize the literature as it relates to catheter-based endovascular competence, including publications from nonsurgical catheter-based specialties, and to place the acquisition of basic endovascular skills in context with the available endovascular courses in a stepwise strategy. A final objective is to provide a literature-based resource that outlines specific phases in the development of interventional vascular surgeons and training programs as they advance into the arena of catheter-based endovascular therapies.